Here's a bit of good news for coffee aficionados: Increased levels of coffee consumption, even decaffeinated cups of Joe, may help prevent liver cancer, a study published in BMJ Open journal revealed. After examining data from 26 studies involving more than 2.25 million participants, researchers from the University of Southampton and the University of Edinburgh discovered that people who drink more coffee are less likely to develop hepatocellular cancer (HCC), the most common form of primary liver cancer.
In fact, coffee drinkers demonstrated a 20 percent lower risk of developing HCC when compared to those who don't indulge in the drink. And those who consumed two cups a day displayed a 35 percent reduced risk. Those who drank five cups, the risk of developing HCC was cut in half. The results for consuming decaffeinated coffee was "smaller and less certain."
The authors wrote, “It may be important for developing coffee as a lifestyle intervention in chronic liver disease, as decaffeinated coffee might be more acceptable to those who do not drink coffee or who limit their coffee consumption because of caffeine-related symptoms.”
Though coffee may boast certain health benefits, lead author of the study Dr. Oliver Kennedy cautioned people to consume too much before there are more clear-cut results on the effects of high caffeine intake.
“We’re not suggesting that everyone should start drinking five cups of coffee a day though," she said. "There needs to be more investigation into the potential harms of high coffee-caffeine intake, and there is evidence it should be avoided in certain groups such as pregnant women."
She added, "Nevertheless, our findings are an important development given the increasing evidence of HCC globally and its poor prognosis."